Appointment made for Saturday 3 February 2023 at 8 a.m.
After a quick and pleasant passage through security, the baggage handlers collect my luggage and I enter the Lobby of the Disneyland Hotel. It’s a pleasure to be back in this place, the transformations that have been carried out have given it a new lease of life and seem to be of good quality (blah, blah, blah).
The InsidEars teams welcome you, then head to reception.
After a friendly and royal welcome, I am told that my room is ready.
Stroll around the hotel, discover the boutique and the rotunda. In the lobby, you can meet an epic cleaning team straight out of The Beauty and the Beast.
At various points, there is a descent of the steps with several Princesses, sometimes accompanied by their Princes: Mulan, Tiana, Cinderella and Jasmine. Not forgetting Snow White, who we bump into in the corridors, which is a real bonus and a real immersion in the royal world.
It is to be hoped that these little happenings will be repeated during busy periods. They really add to the magic of the place.
Head for the grand staircase and the second floor to discover my room, Cinderella-themed 1211.
The day goes on
- 11:45: Photo with Minnie on the Lobby floor, but an unexpected guest stops by: Natacha Rafalski. She chats with us, is pleased with the end result, tells us stories and then asks us to take a photo with her. This upset our schedule.
- 12.45pm: Lunch at the Royal Banquet, a beautiful buffet and characters: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto. Dingo even sat down at the table with us, so we had a great time in the central hall.
Guided tour of the Disneyland Hotel
- 2.45pm: A guided tour of the hotel’s public areas by Walt Disney Imagineering was a great way to find out more about the renovation of the Disneyland Hotel. Starting with the Lobby and its chandelier. The chandelier was handmade in Prague by glassblowers and contains 12,000 pendants.
They also explained that they wanted to change the iconic concept art above the fireplace to one reminiscent of our resort’s castle. The old painting put the hotel in context with Main Street. Whereas the new one is a tribute to the first public concept art of Sleeping Beauty Castle. They also detailed the many easter eggs, which you can find on the books in the Lobby library.
We headed for the rotunda, where they worked on height and volume, as well as the mix between classic with a dark ceiling and royalty with the fleur-de-lys. A classic theme revisited with illuminated columns reminiscent of a crown (a nod to royalty).
La Table de Lumière
We discovered the restaurant’s superb central sculpture, which pays homage to The Beauty and the Beast. The decor echoes the Hall of Mirrors at the Château de Versailles and the ballroom in The Beauty and the Beast.
Discover the Royal Banquet and its many paintings paying tribute in the first room to the adolescence of the Disney characters. The second room is dedicated to the villains.
Then, in the main hall, a tribute to all the cooking characters, ending in the rotunda with the royal steeds.
We discovered a classic Castle Club room, 2114. One thing that stands out as soon as you enter this room is that there is no noise, and the headboard and lighting effects are the same as in the Deluxe rooms. There are eleven different themes in the rooms in this range and therefore eleven different lighting programmes.
I headed for 2329, which is the Frozen Signature Suite. It’s full of details reminiscent of Arendelle, and the famous decorated wardrobe doors give access to the bathroom.
We also visited suite 2338, which is the Sleeping Beauty Signature Suite. It offers an immersion in the classic fairytale thanks to its decorative elements such as a suit of armour and an enchanted dress that changes colour.
- 4.15pm: “Pixie Dust Royal Chase”: an interactive experience to discover the secrets of the hotel and its suites.
We are greeted by an elf, who explains that a little prankster has been spreading fairy dust around. He gives us a little vial to go and collect it.
We headed up to the second floor where we found a cleaning team straight out of The Beauty and the Beast performing a choreographed routine. We find ourselves in the Rapunzel Signature Suite where we really feel like we’re in the famous tower.
Once we’d solved the riddle, we headed for the Castle Club where we met Marraine La Bonne Fée, who gave us directions. We enter The Beauty and the Beast Signature Suite, where we are immersed in the world of the film, and the rose is even present.
Once the riddle was solved, the 2403 is the Frozen Suite, replacing the iconic Sleeping Beauty Suite.
We are greeted by Elsa, who thanks us for bringing back the fairy dust, and then we visit the suite. The iconic piano is still there, but in white, and Michael Jackson’s signature is also still present and well protected. The view over Disneyland Park is magnificent, as are the bedroom and bathroom. The suite is much less cold in real life than in the photos, although the lounge is still icy. I prefer the choices made for the Signature Frozen suite!
The tour ended with a stop at the Fleur de Lys bar, where I sampled one of the signature cocktails from Champagne Coronation: Moët Rosé, St Germain, lychee, raspberry and pink biscuit. The cocktail is well-balanced and very fresh.
There’s more to come…
- 5.10pm to 5.25pm: Meet in front of Fleur de Lys Bar for a photolocation on one of the balconies.
- 6pm: The Royal Ball (show) – all the Disney royalty meet up for a unique moment in the hotel lobby. That’s what Disneyland Paris told us and they weren’t lying, this Royal Ball in the hotel lobby was an exclusive moment with the Disney royal couples. Some of the Princesses we see too rarely in the resort, such as Pocahontas and Mulan, were present. Missing were Rebelle and Vaiana, so we had all the Disney Princesses. This moment marked the start of the inauguration ceremony, which was one of the highlights of the event.
- 6.45pm: We were then invited outside for the opening ceremony in Fantasia Gardens.
The show began with a public barker announcing the show, followed by Natacha Rafalski, President of Disneyland Paris, joined by Jose and Dylan, 2024-2025 Ambassadors. Then it was time for the show, which combined projections, special effects and fountain games, with video projections that showcased the iconic façade of the Disneyland Hotel through our favourite Disney royal stories. A first for our resort!
A beautiful ceremony, but it’s a shame that Natacha Rafalski didn’t say a word in French, especially as her speech was on a teleprompter. The French/English mix remains a recurring problem in the Paris park.
The show was really nice, but I think it’s a shame that the mapping was only played once, even though the installations had been in place for several weeks. I’m sure the first guests at the Disneyland Hotel would have appreciated the gesture!
The evening begins…
- 9.00 pm: We head for the Plaza Garden Restaurant, where we find the buffet we’re all familiar with, which, apart from the seafood, the ham and some of the desserts, resembles that of the Royal Banquet. With the presence of the characters who came in force: Mickey & Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Eeyore and Tigger.
After a quick meal, I headed off to enjoy the Disney Electrical Sky Parade, which I was discovering for the first time in real life. What a pleasure it was to hear Jean Jacques Perrey‘s music played again at Disneyland Paris, a wonderful tribute from the Disneyland Paris teams.
Followed by Disney Dreams, which is still effective despite its lack of recent licences, at the same time, the basis of the show dates back to 2012. The version currently on offer dates from the March 2013 update. Even the Snow Queen, who replaced Aurora for the iconic Disneyland Hotel sequel, is not present. Yet she was present in the last update of the show on 1 June 2015.
Back to the hotel…
Back to the room, where I discover the gifts left in the room (a superb bag in the colours of the Disneyland Hotel, a keyring, Clarins products and two games for children).
My room was put into night mode by the Cast Members of Housekipping.
Mugs were affixed, accompanied by rose nougat with a note. The curtains were drawn, the only small oversight being the opening of the bed, which is normally part of the criteria for 5-star hotels, but I suppose that as it was done before, it will soon be done again.
The evening continued at the Fleur de Lys, where the champagne flowed freely.
End of the weekend
After a hearty breakfast at the Royal Banquet, the weekend ended with lunch at Brasserie Rosalie.
We’d like to extend our warmest thanks to the InsidEars team, who made it possible for us to enjoy an exceptional and unforgettable weekend. However, it’s a shame that the guests present at the reopening on 25 January weren’t also able to enjoy a few little happenings.